Many people have said that the world lost an amazing man and a true inspiration on Christmas Eve with the passing of Adam Andrews. However, that statement is untrue. Not the part about Adam being amazing and a true inspiration…that part is definitely accurate. The part of the statement that is arguably untrue is that the world has lost Adam. Yes, he went to Heaven on December 24th, leaving behind the constraints of his wheelchair and the physical limitations his disability imposed upon him. But those of us who remain in this earthly realm will never lose the legacy that he left behind.
Adam Andrews, age 32, of Collinwood, passed away on December 24, 2019, from complications of pneumonia. When Adam was fifteen years old and playing on the Collinwood High School Trojans Junior Varsity team in a football game against Mt. Pleasant, the unthinkable happened. In a split second of football action, Adam sustained three broken vertebrae in his neck and irreparably damaged his spinal cord. Adam was immediately rendered a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the neck down.
Adam spent about two weeks at Vanderbilt, and was then transferred to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia. There he learned how to breathe own his own again after the ventilator was removed, and learned, along with his parents and family, how to manage daily activities that most of us simply take for granted.
Adam was determined to get back to his “normal life” as quickly as possible. He returned to school, with the help of his dad as his aide, in March of 2003, a mere five months after his accident. He graduated from Collinwood High School in 2005, and went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and Education with an emphasis on Business from Martin Methodist College, and another Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Sports Management from Martin Methodist as well.
Adam has been employed at Collinwood High School for the past several years as a College Counselor, Assistant Football Coach, and Head Baseball Coach. All of the students and faculty knew and loved Adam, and had a special respect for him that was different from any other.
Adam made a post on social media back in October, on the 14th anniversary of his accident, that read:
“Wow can’t believe today makes 17 years to the day I was injured. This day means a lot to me and but has in different ways. When I was younger it was sad and even though I was grateful for the things I had it was still sad that I wasn’t allowed to live out my dreams as I had planned and wasn’t able do the things my friends were doing in preparing for the next chapters of my life. But over the years I have grown and as an adult it has become a day of remembrance, thankfulness, and happiness. Today I’m thankful for another year on this earth with my friends and family. I’m thankful to have a job that I love teaching and coaching and hopefully doing a part in helping young people reach their dreams. I’m thankful to be living in the place I am with a creek, pond and a place to run my dogs. I’m thankful for the people who have done so much to get to where I am today. I’m thankful for my momma and daddy who do so much for me and sacrifice so for me and my sister to be happy. I’m thankful for Abby Andrews Martin and Cameron Martin and everything they do for me and for always thinking of me and making me a part of their lives. I’m thankful for my little buddy Rhett who makes me one of the happiest men in the world he surprises me every day with something and keeps me one my toes but most of all he keeps me laughing and smiling and doesn’t even know he’s doing it. Finally and most of all I’m thankful for God who saved my soul and made all of these things possible. I’m thankful he continues to work on me as a man every day and continues to bless me beyond belief.”
Although Adam had no idea of his upcoming illness and untimely passing when he wrote this post for everyone to see, his words demonstrate how absolutely blessed he felt he was. Let it be a lesson to us all.